The Drug Policy Alliance is the leading organization in the U.S. promoting alternatives to the war on drugs. We envision a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights; in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies but only for crimes against others; and in which the fears, prejudices, and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. Our mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug misuse and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.
Leaders in Drug Policy Fellows will join our passionate, diverse, and creative team at a critical time for the drug policy reform movement in the United States. U.S. leaders are now doubling down on the war on drugs, using it as a tool to stoke fear in society and rally their base, and as an excuse to lock up or deport people of color and immigrants. Tens of thousands of people are dying from opioid overdoses, with little meaningful response by the federal government. At the same time, we are seeing state and local governments taking action, increasingly legalizing marijuana, passing Good Samaritan laws, and even exploring safe consumption sites. Public opinion, too, is increasingly in our favor, with ever larger numbers of people supporting alternatives to current policies of prohibition and criminalization. In this context, DPA’s expertise on drug policy, rigorous analysis, and strong, principled voice stand to make an enormous difference in shaping public opinion and policy, and ultimately having a concrete impact on the lives of millions in the U.S. and beyond.
Over the last 15 years, DPA has expanded from its New York headquarters to a total of eight offices, 70-plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $15.8 million, 25,000 dues-paying members and more than 300,000 online subscribers. It has a solid record of success at the local, state, and federal levels and consistent visibility in prominent media and policy circles. For more information, please visit our website at www.drugpolicy.org
About the Leaders in Drug Policy Fellowship
The Leaders in Drug Policy Fellowship is a 12-week program designed to expose a diverse network of future leaders, directly or indirectly impacted by the harms of drug prohibition, to the many facets of drug policy reform. The fellowship will offer exposure to the multidisciplinary nature of our work, including legislative and policy advocacy, communications strategy, research, and development (fundraising). The fellow will engage in a project that encompasses each of these areas, and will end the fellowship with a broader understanding of what is required to craft policy and run a successful campaign. This fellowship is ideal for people with a passion for advocacy and an openness to working in different sectors of nonprofit work, from fundraising to policy formulation and communication strategies.
This interdepartmental program aims to provide fellows theoretical and practical understanding of drug policy, criminal justice reform, harm reduction, and reparative justice, and further develop leadership skills of fellows.
The fellow will have a supervisor and two staff mentors from one of several departments at DPA (development, communications, or policy). They will have an opportunity to work collaboratively with staff members at DPA offices across the country, and will be presented with numerous mentorship and networking opportunities during their time at DPA.
At the close of the fellowship, the fellow will have a chance to present a summary of their work to the entire organization. Efforts to develop writing samples and other useful skills, such as grant writing, will be built into the program.
The fellow will be based in New York, NY or Oakland, CA, and may have opportunities to travel.
We are looking for individuals directly or indirectly impacted by the war on drugs, mass criminalization, and/or incarceration with a dedicated interest in reforming punitive drug laws and a passion for social, racial, and economic justice. There is no formal educational requirement for this fellowship, and we encourage people with nontraditional education and work experience to apply.
In addition, we seek the following in potential fellows:
- A willingness to challenge one’s own beliefs or preconceived notions about drug use and overdose.
- An interest in working across departments to achieve a shared goal.
- An eagerness to learn and engage in new experiences.
- A desire to work with diverse individuals and communities.
- An ability to communicate effectively.
- Some comfortability with speaking before audiences, both large and small.
- An openness to working in a fast-paced environment where one’s work may be driven by news headlines.
- A willingness to synthesize large amounts of information into digestible form.
- An ability to self-start.
- Some comfortability with or dedication to becoming proficient in Microsoft Office, including Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word.
This is a paid part-time fellowship position running from June 2019 through August 2019. Fellow will be expected to complete 20-hours a week at $22/hour.
Deadline to Apply:
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with March 15, 2019 at 11:59pm EST being the priority deadline to submit an application.
Application Process and Materials:
● Resume (Please limit submissions to one page)
● Cover Letter (Please limit submissions to one page)
● Please respond to the following questions (This portion should be 1-3 pages in total)*:
1. What interests you most about drug policy?
2. How have you, or anyone around you (family, friends, neighbors, community members, colleagues, etc.), been impacted by the drug war?
3. How do you envision contributing to our goal of ending the drug war?
*Feel free to submit a visual, non-traditional response (i.e. video responses welcome). If you choose to do a visual response, please still submit a paragraph per question, in addition to your visual response.
Please include a link for visual responses with their respective paragraphs within a MS Word Doc.
Please submit your application materials at https://drugpolicy.bamboohr.
Post Application Steps:
We will contact each applicant to inform them of the status of their application. Given the amount of interest in the fellowship, we are not accepting calls regarding one’s application status.
The Drug Policy Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. DPA encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, ethnicity, personal appearance, political affiliation, family responsibility, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction. We are particularly interested in hiring people who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.